Rod  Logan Gerrard

1943 - 2007

Our business was designing and building sailing yachts. In 1975 I recognized that we were in serious need of design expertise and capability beyond naval architectural. So, I selected Rod 
Gerrard from four outstanding candidates who had been sourced by Len Cox and Rod joined us, initially on a 6 month contract basis. 
Rod worked initially on interior arrangements, furnishing and finishing, and was concerned with materials and detailing, both interior and exterior. 

Then, additional to his direct involvement with design of the product, Rod succeeded Len Cox with responsibility for C&C "image" in all its' aspects -- signage, graphics, logo development, advertising (in conjunction with the agency), the design of annual and quarterly reports and eventually, working with the architect, the creation of an outstanding new corporate headquarters and showroom in Port Credit. 


Apart from the versatility of his very substantial talents, Rod's personality and attitudes were such that he was able to quickly gain the confidence and co-operation of those with whom he worked -- not an easy task when inserted into an organization with a very specific field of endeavour. When he joined us he was suspect because he had no background in boats -­
which is exactly why I had hired him. Within a month, he had gained the confidence of his peers in Design Group who had wondered "Who is this guy from Disneyland?" and they were turning to him for advice and judgments. His expertise had been acknowledged and his 
personality had assisted greatly. I did not wait the full 6 months before asking him to come on staff. Rod's response was "I thought you would never ask!" 

Although born in the U. S. A. of American parents, Rod attended St. Andrew's College in Aurora for 9 years, from 1953 to 1962. He was captain of both the cricket and football teams and art editor of the school magazine, then on to Ontario College of Art. I mentioned signage. Rod had graduated from Ontario College of Art and after several positions including a two year scholarship in Europe, he designed the signage for the Toronto Zoo, then brand new, having re-located from Riverdale Park. In 1983 he was honoured by election to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

 
In time, events transpired that Rod and Pam re-located to Florida but, by that time, boats were In his blood and a number of U. S. designers and builders availed themselves of Rod's talents, but those activities were in powerboats, not sail. More recently, Rod was commissioned by the City of Burlington to undertake design and supply of "banners" to replace the flower baskets suspended from the lamp standards which for years 
had been installed each year and tended by Harold Ledsham, a senior Lowville resident. 


Rod, innovative as always, devised a floral motif to be made of aluminium and painted four bright colours. They are probably good for 20 years. Their total cost was less than the flower baskets cost for one summer -- and they are in place year round. Fifty two of these banners were supplied and installed last spring, to the best of my knowledge, Rod's final project to reach completion. 


If you would like to view them, just drive north on Guelph Line about 10 km., to Britannia Road and enter the village of Lowville, then drive down the hill and across the bridge over the creek.

For me, those banners will always remind me of a superb designer, a kind and always cheerful man, and a close, close friend. 

George H. Cuthbertson    2007

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